Sunday, June 9, 2013

Roland Garros 2013: Eight for Rafa

Rafael Nadal has further cemented his status as the greatest clay court tennis player of all time.  The claims of others become increasingly ridiculous with each passing year.  Rafa has now won Roland Garros eight times, the most any man has ever won an individual Major.  His 12 total Majors also puts him in very exclusive company.  Only Roy Emerson (with 12), Pete Sampras (14) and Roger Federer (17) have won as many.
Photo via TopNews

Hats off to David Ferrer, though, for making his first Major final at the age of 31.  The hardest working man in tennis may not ever have this opportunity again but whenever he does decide to leave the sport (worth noting: no sign of that impending), he'll have a stellar resume and the rock-solid respect of everyone in the locker room.  He was no match for Rafa, his friend and countryman, but few pose much of a threat to the king with clay underfoot.

I missed the match of the tournament, Rafa's semi against Djokovic on Friday.  Whether you watched or not, I highly recommend Brian Phillips's summary on Grantland - very funny.  My Wife found it, in fact, and enjoyed it immensely. Her interest in tennis is reluctant at best.

Congratulations to Serena Williams, too, who now has a Double Career Slam - she has won each of the Majors at least twice.  Add this to her Double Golden Career Slam in doubles, which includes her Olympic efforts, and her claim to Greatest of All Time status is ever improving.  Steffi Graf still wins the numbers game, at least in singles: 22 Slams overall (Serena has 16), including at least four at each Major plus two gold medals.  For what it's worth, my women's pick, Agnieska Radwanska, lost in the quarterfinals - her career-best result at Roland Garros.

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